Russian-American production company Apollo Films has just wrapped on its new feature Passenger From San Francisco after nearly a year of shooting in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cyprus, the Crimea, the Greek islands, Moscow and St Petersburg.

Producer and director Anatoli Balchev hopes to break into the American market with the film that features both Russian and American actors.

'A Russian film today has almost no chance to break out into international markets,' said Balchev, 'we hope that by casting American actors in a Russian production we will attract an international audience.'

The $2.5m production was backed 50 percent by American and 50 percent by Russian money. Balchev also scripted the story which is about a joint anti-mafia operation by US and Russian security services that plunges its characters into a series of high-action drama adventures in exotic locations around the world.

The film stars Ukrainian actor Oleg Drach and US actors Roy Werner, William Stafford Davis, Daz Crawford, David Danino, Ester Ridgen and Alex Kuznetsov. Most of the American cast have appeared extensively in US TV series as well in film.

Balchev said he may return to the US for post-production. The film is due for release early next year.

Passenger From San Francisco is not the only Russian film project set to shoot in the US this year. Director Anatoli Ivanov is set to shoot a film about Pushkin titled The Black Prince and backed partly by the Russian Ministry of Culture in the US. The film will star Russian ballerina Anastasia Volchkova.